CANADA FX DEBT-C$ ends little changed despite mounting China concerns

Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:00pm EDT
 
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* Canadian dollar at C$1.1103 or 90.07 U.S. cents
    * Bond prices higher across curve
    * China and copper are concerns, but not enough to move
needle
    * Eyes on Ukraine, data later in the week


    By Andrea Hopkins and Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, March 11 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little
changed against the U.S. currency on Tuesday, even as market
players eyed a sharp fall in commodity prices driven by concerns
about China's growth outlook.
    Canada's currency is sensitive to volatility in
resource-related industries given the country's heavy reliance
on mining and oil and natural gas for much of its export
revenue.
    "It's symptomatic of the broader market malaise," said Adam
Button, currency analyst at ForexLive in Montreal. "Some worries
about China are creeping in, but the Canadian dollar is already
so badly beaten down that there is no enthusiasm to keep selling
it."
    The loonie, as Canada's currency is colloquially known, has
weakened sharply this year, with the Bank of Canada's worries
about the low inflation rate eliminating any prospect of a
near-term rate hike. 
    Copper tumbled on Tuesday to its lowest levels in over three
years on worries about Chinese demand and liquidation of
inventories used for finance deals. 
    World stocks held steady, the euro edged down, oil fell and
gold nudged higher. That pattern was set in Asia, where markets
took a break from recent volatile trading, but struggled to do
much more than make incremental moves. 
    "There is a bit of a data void in the short term," said
Jeremy Stretch, head of foreign exchange strategy at CIBC World
Markets in London. "Clearly the events in Russia and Ukraine are
still significant, so there is always the risk we could see
another bounce of risk aversion."
    Tensions over Ukraine continued to build on Tuesday. With
diplomacy at a standstill, Ukraine's acting president announced
the formation of a volunteer national guard, while ousted leader
Viktor Yanukovich insisted he remained the country's legitimate
leader. 
    The Canadian dollar ended the session changing
hands at C$1.1103 to the U.S. dollar, or 90.07 U.S. cents,
little changed from Monday's close of C$1.1101, or 90.08 U.S.
cents.
    "We're seeing a little bit of a grind back to the downside,
and I wouldn't be surprised if the flow continues to be biased
towards dollar-CAD grinding lower and perhaps towards the
C$1.1070-C$1.1075 area," said Stretch, noting that the Canadian
dollar has lagged other commodity currencies and may have some
chance to catch up in the days to come.
    With little in the way of domestic data this week, Stretch
expects the currency's moves to remain limited. U.S. retail
sales, which fell unexpectedly in January amid unseasonably cold
weather, could be one potential driver later this week.
    Canadian government bond prices were higher across the
maturity curve, with the two-year bond up 1 Canadian
cent to yield 1.036 percent and the benchmark 10-year
 gained 9 Canadian cents to yield 2.488 percent.